Posts Tagged ‘Myanmar’

Genocide of Burma’s Muslim minority?

October 28, 2015

Hat tip to my expatriate friend Jack.

The excellent investigative documentary shows what happens when political leaders use religion to solidify their power by promoting nationalism and ethnic hatred.

Weekend reading: Links & comments 10/23/2015

October 23, 2015

Iceland Just Jailed Dozens of Corrupt Bankers for 74 Years, the Opposite of What America Does by Jay Syrmopoulos of the Free Thought Project (via AlterNet)

Iceland sentences 26 bankers to a combined 74 years in prison by gjohnsit for Daily Kos (Hat tip to my expatriate friend Jack)

Icelandic courts have sentenced 26 bankers to prison terms for two to five years each—a total of 74 years—for financial fraud and manipulation leading up to the financial crash of 2008.

The important precedent here, and the great contrast with the United States, is that Iceland prosecuted individuals, not banks.  An organization structure cannot commit crimes, any more than a bank building can commit crimes.   It is the individuals within the structure who have criminal responsibility.

JADE: A Global Witness Investigation Into Myanmar’s Big “State Secret” (hat tip to Jack)

High-quality jade is the most valuable product of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.  But the government and people of the country get little benefit from it.  Instead the trade is controlled by military elites, corporate cronies and U.S.-sanctioned drug lords.

Nawal El Saadawi: ‘Do you feel you are liberated?  I feel I am not’ by Rachel Cooke for The Guardian (Hat tip to Jack)

An interview with the formidable 83-year-old Egyptian author, freethinker, feminist, medical doctor and campaigner against female genital mutilation.


Glimpses of Asia – October 3, 2015

October 3, 2015

Hat tip for these links to my expatriate e-mail pen pal Jack and his friend Marty

Ghost Chili

Ghost Chili

World’s Hottest Chili (the Ghost Chili) is now being weaponized by the Indian Military

US elevates Thailand to best child labor category

Movie Vs. Reality: What It Actually Feels Like To Climb Mount Everest

The Most Frightening Food Found on Airplanes

[Thai] Government warns netizen protesters


The country formerly known as Burma

May 25, 2013

An e-mail friend of mine who lives in Thailand sent me a link to an editorial in the Bangkok Post about a visit by President Thein Sein of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, to President Obama in the White House.  That country has been ruled by a military dictatorship and is slowly transitioning back to an elected government.

map_of_myanmarAccording to the editorial, Obama and Thein Sein discussed American business investment in the former Burma, but ignored the country’s role as a center of heroin and methamphetamine trafficking.   It is interesting how the U.S. government wages low-intensity war against the Mexican and Colombian cocaine cartels, but cares little about the opium and heroin cartels of south and southeast Asia.

The editorial writers regret that Obama did not bring up the persecution of a minority group called the Rohingya, which I’d never heard of.   A little Google research told me that they are a Muslim ethnic group terrorized by the Buddhist majority, and that many are refugees in neighboring countries.  I always thought of Buddhism as a contemplative, tolerant religion. It goes to show how misleading stereotypes can bethat Buddhists, like other people, do not necessarily follow the best teachings of their religion, and to show how little knowing the name of the religion to which someone pays lip service will tell you about that person’s behavior.

The two things I get from the editorial are an indication of the U.S. government’s priorities in foreign policy, and an indication of how some foreigners still look to Americans to champion human rights.

Click on Myanmar, US Waste a Chance to read the editorial.